I’ve started doing Instagram Lives at 11am GMT on a Friday with the team at Ema Giving. Why? Because we think that it might be good to show the real people behind the smart digital fundraising tech we’ve been developing, we’re approachable and we can demonstrate why we are passionate about raising money for good causes.

That’s the theory. Do stop along and see if our fledgling practice match up to our ideals! Or enjoy our less than polished attempts at overcoming internet and geographical boundaries. We’re a remote team and some of us have never actually met in person!

Anyway, we hope our attempts to grow an audience will benefit the causes we can help in some way or at least show that we’re doing our best to understand the challenges of connecting with people, and making those connections meaningful.

Ema have spent over a decade making bespoke Visual fundraising pages for charities, mainly Hospices at the start and we have data to share when it comes to when people are most generous. I'm a fundraiser and like to recommend great tech to not-for-profits and tell techies what I want from their solutions.

So when are we most kind? Here in the UK, it's midmorning on a Tuesday, as it happens. Or at least that’s the case for when people give the largest average donations online via Ema visual pages. In terms of volume? The most traffic we get is 5pm on a Friday, the rush hour of charitable giving. People have finished the week, begun to anticipate relaxing and get generous. Isn’t that lovely to know?

It’s not just Ema that sees trends in kindness, Starbuck and other food outlets will traditionally tailor their menu options according to various times of the week, with tasty pastries being stocked up more on a Friday and healthier, post weekend yoghurt pots and fruit on a Monday. Apparently, Monday is also the most popular day for online wills being completed. We think that giving, both to others and being kind to ourselves is fascinating.

Massively meaningful too, the biggest single donation we have had via Ema Giving is over £3k which is a lot of kindness and would have been excitedly received by the lucky cause. Upon average, people give between £32 and £34 in single donations, but if you run a similar appeal on an annual basis, we know that people come back and give again.

Interestingly, while the majority of gifts arrive via mobile, we find that a gift given via a desktop or laptop, tends to be larger, more like an average of £49. Almost as though the process of logging on to a more substantial machine makes the transaction more secure, or people have their details stored there more accessibly.

Research has shown that lots of people are willing to make donations to charities, digitally. It also shows that a substantially large number of people forget who they donated to. This could be a commercial payment gateway thing, where shoppers are asked to tip a good cause and they do but don’t really pay attention to the exact name of the charity. Or it could be a more concerning thing for brand recognition. At Ema, by adding additional engagement, where you make a dedication on our pages and then upload a photo of a loved one, we hope those additional steps register more strongly and so people do remember who they are supporting, why and then share so we’re community building. Or that’s the plan. Do let us know the various ways in which you’d like us to help your causes.

And pop along next Friday to our weekly Live.

Similarly, if you'd like tech advice or want me to chat about your digital stuff, you know where I am!

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Let's answer that by defining poor...

I don't mean rubbish, in fact the correlation between having a lack of something and being disposable or not up to standard is a tricky triangle to equate.

How can any individual or organisation be expected to measure up when they are missing an important piece of the puzzle that levels the playing field?

Okay, so, the 'poor' I'm on about is living/working with insufficient or lower quality stuff and attempting to deliver services that need to be first class. Quality on a shoe string.

The 'stuff' that's poor can be resources and by that I mean time, tech and understanding, one, two or all three.

This is a problem I see within the sector I'm currently working in and not in other areas where I have previously enjoyed good internet, fast computers and excellent data management and the consequent additional time and efficiency. Nevermind salary.

Having seen the green grass and found myself playing on turbulant turf, with old computers, unstable internet access and software that is almost older than email...I'm increasingly passionate about upping the ante and allowing for inclusive access to good digital tools and training.

Happily, I'm not alone.

I'm glad to see that more and more software companies are developing excellent solutions for our sector, affordable ones too, and bringing on board people who have worked in our sector as fundraisers and understand the hurdles we have yet to fully overcome.

It's encouraging.

Long way to go...but as with any attempt to encourage inclusivity in a world that is run on survival of the fittest, it's good to see that people who can help the helpers are looking to do so, for the greater good of all compassionate causes.

I was never one hundred percent enamoured with 'not-for-profits' being labelled negatively or in the way that frames the lack of commercial drive. Of course we want to profit, we're literally all about raising funds, just not directly for us, as individuals, alone.

And third should not be last, while the 'third sector' is a recognisable umbrella term that usefully covers a range of different organisations with alternative structures and purposes, belonging neither to the public sector (i.e., the state) or to the private sector (profit-making private enterprise), third is not runner-up.

Our story-telling is stellar.

Our commitment to working hard and long, often unconventional hours is hugely impressive.

I look forward to increased access to tech and the teaching that's required so that 'digital poverty' (thank you to Laura Croudace - Technology Impact Evangelist at Cirrico for nailing this term and sharing it with me) becomes an area of exclusion that we can aim to remove.

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If you Google 'Legacy' and click on what a person's legacy is you get a pretty good answer.

'It is about the richness of the individual's life, including what that person accomplished and the impact he or she had on people and places. ... Ultimately, the story of a person's life reflects the individual's legacy'

I like this, particularly wealth in terms of the difference someone has made on others.

Why was a Googling legacy?

It's become a large part of what I do, stuff associated with legacy fundraising that is, not random Google searches, although I do that also.

When you are emersed in a world, it's easy to think that generating gifts, either via wills, or from other forms of fundraising is anything other than normal, which isn't actually true.

For example, I've been working with an online will writer and the percentage of charitable gifts in Wills is closer to 10% than 100% in their experience, but with over 35K Wills on their system with over £35.8 million in gifts to charities committed between 2018 and the end of 2020 that's still a substantial amount on just one platform, and that was before this year which looks to be a bumper year for legacy fundraising. It's worth taking a look at FreeWills by the way, as this is the only online will writing service that doesn't charge charities for any of their services and a supporter can obtain a completely free will here too.

However, this isn't simply a plug, I'm speaking to lots of charities and fundraising has been under a lot of pressure in the last few years, actually, I'd argue it's always a tough gig.

I was chatting to another fundraising consultant last week and he asked me what I thought of our sector. It was tempting to answer by identifying the challenges, of which there are many. But while I thought about it, I threw the question right back at him and his answer struck a chord.

'It's amazing, how awesome is it to be able to persuade someone to give up their hard earned money and or time to help you fix a problem which may not have anything to do with them?'

He's right, fundraisers hold the key to unlocking dreams and making missions accomplishable. Champions of causes that need cheering about.

It's not easy though, even when you have the tools (another unashamed plug here, Ema Giving have developed some pretty nifty digital solutions for fundraisers, check them out too), you need to know how to use them.

There is a language that's helpful to learn to enable you to connect with people who care. There are ways and means to make a compelling ask and equally, you can get it hopelessly wrong if you are not attentive to the way your audience receives your message.

That said, in fact, because of the challenges, I'm proud to work with charities and if raising money to achieve difficult goals and overcome hurdles, then I'll be happy for that to be part of my legacy.

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